T Nation

Best Lighting for Muscle Definition?

What’s the best lighting for it? I take it the overall ambient should be dark with lights directly above your head?

When they set up stage lights for contests, they have overhead lights, BUT, they also have floor lights, so there is essentially sharp shadows created from at least two opposing sources. If you only had one source, you’d lose the ability to see most of the physique.

I’ve seen some shows where everyone looked a bit yellow-y orange onstage. There was plenty of ligh sources, but in terms of the specifics, actual types of lights, bulbs, etc etc, I honestly don’t know enough to comment on.



What about bodybuilding and tattoos? I’ve always been curious about this. Do contestants need to cover up tattoos? If so, how do they go about doing this?

Getting inked heavily may obscure muscular striations/definitions.

The best “trick” lighting is from the side. To use shadows to enhance muscle thickness.

When all the lights are off, I look amazing.

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The shadows cast by a generous memory make for some awesome size and cuts!

Really though, it depends on the purpose. Light tricks and angles are great for Instagram, but as a few people have proven they aren’t so good for the BB stage.

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I would answer but I’m saving all my trick lighting and photo editing skills for the June 1st reveal of my epic win


Great stuff. Thanks, I’ll look more into it, I think some type of floor lights + direct overhead lighting with an overall dark ambient would be insane

Like this gym (note: not my gym)